Been updating the Wiki with a entry on "social structure" for the major races.
Regarding the Tothk... I'm wondering if this reads fairly smoothly and if the ideas presented proceed in a logical order... I'm interested in feedback if anyone's willing. The essential gist of the Tothk could be described as "The Soviet Union run by quasi-half-vulcans"...
It easy to equate governance and social structure with species... it is easy to forget, that many civilizations are ruled by a system that isn't particularly suited to the psychology of it's citizens. The Terrans are infamously unhappy and unruly under virtually every system of community they have ever tried... the Ukaros, stubborn as they may be, admit that many in their society are deeply unhappy with their rigid social structure and order is maintained primarily through the threat of vicious reprisals. The Tothk represent a interesting case, where their society truly satisfies and relies upon their unique psychology... Tothk society has some of the highest ratings of satisfaction and lowest instances of disorder of any living civilization... only the Zrenrakka rival them in these regards.
This is not say that all Tothk are "happy" and free of want, but rather, that the Tothk as a whole are deeply committed to society, see no reason or value in complaining, and see no need for any fundamental change. The vast majority of Tothk firmly believe that their society is functioning "as it should" and that they as individuals are appreciated.
This remarkable state of affairs is confusing to most other species, because the Tothk live in a large totalitarian state ruled over by a vast military autocracy. Even more surprising to other species is the fact that this totalitarian state is virtually corruption free and functions quite efficiently. How is this possible?
To understand this sociologists have studied the Tothk's evolution on their homeworld of Throne. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the planet of Throne is harsh and dangerous by any standard... and is home to some of the galaxy's most dangerous fauna. It is believed that this harsh environment forced the Tothk to evolve an extremely high threshold for suffering, both physical and psychological... to the point where it is scientifically valid to claim that the Tothk "feel things at about half the intensity of anyone else". Should a Tothk family lose a parent, their children will no doubt feel sadness, but this will hardly impede their daily activities and no long term negative affects would be observed. Where young Terrans can be expected to suffer severe even lifelong consequences as a result of early abuse or negligence, the Tothk can be expected to "shrug it off" within a few months.
This resiliency explains why the Tothk society as a whole readily accepts the sacrifices required of them by their autocratic rulers. However, this resiliency does not explain why the Tothk so readily accept autocracy in and of itself. This it seems, comes from the Tothk's innate desire for conformity... a survival trait that was put to the test in early Tothk history.
Similar to most worlds that evolved sentient life, the Tothk once coexisted with variant species of themselves, who eventually died out. Whether the Terrans (homo-sapiens) were directly responsible for wiping out all of their cousin species such as Neanderthal isn't entirely clear... but the Tothk example is somewhat different. The Tothk reached a "bronze" age level of technical progress whilst still cohabiting with a single other variant species... known typically as the Rothk. Physically the two species were nearly identical, and generally the Rothk seem to have been equally intelligent to their Tothk rivals. The main difference between their two species was instead psychological in nature.
Akin to the Terran chimpanzee (Rothk in this case) and Bonobos (Tothk in this case) the Rothk were extremely aggressive and the Tothk were far more cooperative. The Rothk were so aggressive that they were constantly warring amongst themselves, even within their smaller social structures. The Tothk were equally ambitious, but this was balanced by a deep need to conform to the group. When large groups of Rothk went to war with their Tothk neighbors, they did so carrying shields and swords at times, but lacking any serious organizational ability and were just as likely to attack neighboring Rothk communities at any time. The Tothk by contrast would often ally with other Tothk communities and would wield the same armaments, but arranged in a shield wall with well disciplined troops. Just as the Terran Romans quashed their less disciplined (some would say "barbarian") neighbors, the Tothk would eventually wipe out all living Rothk.
This need to conform under societal pressure was only reinforced when the Tothk were invaded by the Ukaros many centuries later. These conflicts forced all Tothk nations to unite into a singular authority and the Tothk's individualistic ambition combined with their psychological need to conform to their communities' expectations has led to the Regime we know today... autocratically ruled by a relatively few and massively powerful individuals... yet virtually devoid of personal corruption.
Today the Regime of Tothk is "A military first and a civilization second" as one Aquilaran diplomat put it. A command and control economy is directed by a vast military structure of rank and strict obedience, all under the direction of a "High Tyrant" for the sake of three founding "Directives".
- The preservation of Tothk and their holdings by any means.
- The creation of unity for all Tothk through mandatory service and fair compensation for service.
- The pursuit of order through law, applicable to all ranks and all subjects of Tothk.
The vast military organization and it's "civilian" branches (that are by other standards, no different than the military in structure) under these directives has worked remarkably well for centuries... even though the average Tothk can expect a lifetime of hard work, unrelenting duty, and unquestioning obedience. One's rank within the Regime is determined by one's abilities and past achievements (as assessed by one's direct superior) and one's income and personal property is dictated by a strict series of guidelines under Tothk laws.
Only the unique psychological profile of the Tothk has allowed such a system to flourish for so long and against so many internal and external challenges. Even today, in a time where the Tothk are "loosening up their belts" and enjoying unprecedented freedoms of expression, the Tothk greeting remains...
"Well being to the State my friend."